Since I did such a horrible job of keeping up with my blog over the last six months (here’s the 411 about all that) I decided to go back and post about some things to took place or that I learned and would have wanted to share had I not been so LAME!
Did I ever tell you about the time I went to the ATL on God’s dime??
So back in September I had decided to visit my sister’s family, they live down near the ATL and that is where I lived & worked for about 2.5 years before moving back to good ole NC. At this point in 2011, let me remind you, I had been officially without any sort of full-time or even really part-time work since January – thus making it about 9 months with no real income. I was about to begin my trek as the Head Men’s Basketball Coach for Mid-Atlantic Christian University (GO MUSTANGS) and my schedule would become INSANELY BUSY. So I decided that this would be my last opportunity to return to the ATL to visit with family & friends, for quite some time.
I have been known to have the spiritual gift of squeezing more bang out of a buck than most people you will ever meet, but what was about to transpire was truly one for the ages. I knew I didn’t have much money to work with, but I had saved up some miles on Airtran in order to have a free one-way flight from NC to the ATL. Then due to some flight delay troubles on a trip earlier in the year I had also received a $25 voucher to use on another flight. So the return trip I was able to book for about $60 and then when you take off the voucher – I was going to be able to fly ROUNDTRIP to the ATL for about $45 TOTAL.
Since I was visiting with family I knew we would eat a lot of meals at their home – always a HUGE BLESSING and I have some friends that were gonna let me borrow a vehicle (THANKS BLOEMKER CAR CARE CREW ha ha ha) so all I’d have to pay for was gas. While I was there I also experienced extreme generosity from some others who paid for some meals along the way. Once the 6 day trip to hang out with family & friends and travel all over the ATL and even get in some awesome sand v-ball with friends – was all said and done, I totalled up the money spent and it was about $99 and some change. I mean come on can you believe that? All that travel & fun & frolicking for less than $100! It was AWESOME.
But that isn’t where the story ends – in fact this is just the part where God’s greatness begins! Now let me be careful cause I do not like to be one of those people that shouts out the motto: “God is good” for someone else to holler “All the time” and then respond with “All the time” for them to echo “God is good!” only when something goes my way or when I’m living it up on easy street. You see I must be convinced that even in the midst of drunk-driving deaths, cancer-stricken saints, devastating bouts of depression, unexpected unemployment and the list of difficulties go on and on – GOD IS STILL GOOD and we must never forget that what we are going through – does not determine His greatness!
But it just so happens that in the midst of this invigorating vacation I witnessed just another blip on the radar of the beauty of his bounties. It happened when I took some time to go and visit one of the beloved ministry partners with whom I worked closely and built a wonderful relationship during my time in the ATL. I stopped in to their workplace to catch up on what God was doing with their incredible & powerful ministry in the urban center of the city. I also shared what God had going on back in my life in NC. We chatted and chuckled and just genuinely enjoyed our time together. When it came to it’s end – much like all other times we have visited – we finished with a powerful time of prayer.
It was at the end of this prayer time that it happened – that God smiled upon me through the heart of this sacrificial saint. As they went back over to their desk they began to excitedly scramble around in the desk for some items and started to tell me that they felt God prompting them to do something. To give me something – to encourage & help me. I was a bit confused and uncertain as to what was about to take place. In a flash they had whipped out their pen & checkbook and was scribbling out info on a check. I thought to myself that they were gonna give me a check to take back to the church where I had worked in an effort to help support some of the ongoing ministries or maybe that they wanted to send money back to help with some of the work I was blessed with doing back in my hometown. But then to my surprise they tore out 2 checks – and quickly replied that they wanted to do something to bless me – to help during the tough financial times. That they believed in what God had me doing and wanted to ease some of the burden of being without full-time work.
They reached over and stuck 2 checks in my hand – made out to my name. They explained that they had dated one to be deposited immediately and the other was to be deposited at the end of the month. Each check was for – wait for it ………….
$50 each – totaling $100 – that’s right – the exact amount, within pennies – of the TOTAL COST of my travels to the ATL.
So you see – some people may believe in a God that only has time & energy & interest to take care of the “much bigger” things in this life, but I know better, I know that I serve & worship a God, that on occasion, even wants to see some of his kids get the chance to travel to the ATL and it all be on HIS DIME!!!